NIGER COUP – MULTILATERAL DIPLOMATIC, GLOBAL SHUTTLES, IMPERATIVE FOR CONTINENTAL AFRICA SURVIVAL
“No Permanent Friends or, Foes in International Relations. Only Permanent Interest”
On June 6th , 2023, the Commander of Presidential Guard of Niger Republic, General Abdourahamane Omar Tchiani led a military take over of the reins of government from the hands of democratically elected President Mohamad Bazouim. This would be the sixth coup d’état in the West Africa sub region; coming on the heels of miliary regimes in Mali since August 2020, Chad – April 2021, Guinea – September 2021, Sudan – October 2021, and Bukina Fasso – January 2022. The sub continental body, Economic Community of West African States led by Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu issued an ultimatum which lapse on 6th August 2023 for the usurper military junta to restore democratically President Bazouim back in power.
The Nigerien military putsch has put the coup – vulnerable West Africa sub region under spotlight, sparking off rows of salient heated issues on democracy, good governance, regional security, and influence of foreign powers not only in the sub region but continental Africa. The Nigerian Government sent a diplomatic envoy led by former military Head of State, Rtd. Gen. Abubarkar Abdulsallam and the Sultan of Sokoto Caliphate, Abubarkar Saadu to consult with the Head of Niger coupist on restoration of the overthrown Bazouim democratic government. This mission was, however, dead on arrival. As many persons clamour for military intervention, neighbouring West African States like Mali, Senegal, and other States in the continent vowed to align with the new Niger junta to defend its territories against any aggression.
The contending concerns revolve round the questions of Sovereignty, Democracy, Control of Natural Resources and Power – Play by Foreign Interests.
The tragedy of the emerging scenarios is that the interests of Africa and its peoples are not given true and thorough interrogations in finding panacea to the dooming sceptre of military interregnums in the continent. What is necessary is, multilateral relations, diplomatic solution that will address fundamental interests of Nigeriens, the Sub Region and Africa, survival, and freedom from the manacles of Foreign Powers’ exploitation of our natural resources and domination of African people.
A critical overview of the African landscape will reveal a continent blessed with abundant natural resources which the entire globe is scrambling to exploit and control at the detrimental expense of Africa and its people. The Map of Africa Natural Resources reveal huge deposits of Gold in South Africa, Mali, and Ghana; Diamonds in Botswana and Congo D.R; Crude Oil in Nigeria, Libya; and Uranium in NIGER REPUBLIC. The scramble for exclusive exploitation of Uranium by its former colonial power, France and Transnational Corporations is the main causative factor for the escalation of instabilities in Niger Republic.
The Western Power bloc, queuing behind France is routing for Tchiani and his comrades in arms to go back to the barracks and restore democratic government of Bazouim, without ruling out the option enforcement of their position by military options. Another global power bloc keenly interested in positioning itself in the running of affairs are raising the platitudes of ‘Territorial sovereignty’. This block is largely supported by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa ( BRICS ) group and their Transnational Corporations’ fronts.
The ” National Observatory”, a civic engagement platform to interrogate policy options as they affect citizens’ welfare and wellbeing holds audacious views that the global community is either too compromisingly docile or, not adequately sensitise to perceive the grimy portraits of the emerging scenarios in the Niger Republic’s Military Coup d’état versus Democracy crisis rupturing the sub – region, if not entire African continent. Guided by Frantz Fanon admonitions that ; ‘ Every Onlooker is Either a Coward or, A Traitor’…… or both, we critically observe and proffer heuristic panaceas as follows :-
ECOWAS and Nigeria should be extremely cautious in considering options for amicable resolutions so as not inadvertently be drawn into a proxy war situation of Foreign Powers. One of these power mongers in the African continent, a Russian head of a Corporation Mercenary Armed Enforcer, “Wagner Group,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, succinctly captured the essence of the crisis in Niger when he analyzed how Niger’ Uranium is being buccaneer :-
“ French company that extracted uranium sold it on the market for $218, while paying Niger only $11 for it. You can work with investors on a 50-50 or 30-70 (%) basis, but it’s impossible to give back to the indigenous people of the country, who were born in this country, who live in this country, and who expect that the natural resources of this country belong to them, and according to the Constitution, they belong to them, only 5% of the wealth you receive. ”
If the situation in Niger is not properly macro -managed, global economic vultures and vampires will inevitably stop hovering but permanently perch to feast on carcasses in Niger and the sub region. As things are, the region is presently precariously bedevilled by incursions of multiple layers of armed, terrorist groups and battling with economies in acute, compounded recession, it is on the brink of collapse in real terms and cannot risk any social upheavals.
The National Observatory urged the Nigerian Government, ECOWAS to reflect deeply on the permanent interests of their citizens, survival of the African people, the sub region and continent in finding solutions to the threats of anti -democratic, marauding forces in the continent.
Genuine Peoples’ Democracy remains a better path to development over any Military Regime – be it Benevolence or Autocratic. However, democracy must necessarily deliver on good governance and assure prosperity for the citizens if it must be defended.
Global Peace institutions like the United Nations, the African Union should convene a multilateral platform to address the renew surge of undemocratic take over of government in the sub region. In handling the Niger coup debacle, it should be treated as a Bull in a China wares shop!
#. Say NO to foreign powers despoliation of African continent.
#. Join the people’s movement to entrench Democracy, Constitutionalism, Rule of -Law and Good Governance in Africa today.
#. Democratic Governance is for minimal condition for sustainable development of African continent.
#. People’s Democracy is the path to Recovery of our Collective Humanity.
#. There is nothing like ‘’ Benevolence Despotism ’’. It ends up traumatising citizens.
Signed For NATIONAL OBSERVATORY ;-
DEBO ADENIRAN – President
OMOTAJE OLAWALE SAINT – Admin Secretary